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Agritech trends: Use of data science in agriculture

The time is ripe for the Indian agricultural sector to adopt best practices by using data science, deploy smart farming techniques and build integrated supply chains to boost productivity. Importance of agriculture and the current landscape Agriculture and allied sectors in India employ about 50% of India’s workforce. Yet, it contributes to less than a fifth of the GDP. An average farmer in India earns less than US$ 2000 per annum, compared to the United States of America, where the Food and Agriculture sector contributes ~US$ 1tn to the GDP and employs roughly 25 million people, directly and indirectly. Read also: Sharif El-Badawi And Hasan Haider...

Daily Digest Thursday, 1 October 2020

Funding In North Africa Sharif El-Badawi And Hasan Haider Leave 500 Startups To Launch Independent Fund For Startups In MENA 500 Startups has been investing in the Middle East & North Africa since 2012 but it launched its dedicated fund for the region in 2017 with Sharif and Hasan leading it. Read more Cairo-Based La Reina Raises Six-Figure Investment, Launches Fashion Subscription Service ‘The Box’ For Women The startup has also announced the launch of its fashion subscription service ‘The Box’ for women. The service that apparently has been available for a few months at least, enables customers to receive a box every week with 2-3 new or used (but...

The Africa Blockchain Developers Call Is Set To Hold A Weekend Conference On Blockchain Technology And The Health Sector

Pan-African Bootcamp on blockchain technology, the Africa Blockchain Developers Call (ABDC), has announced its intentions to hold a weekend conference on the integration of blockchain technology into the health sector in Africa.  The Bootcamp, which was officially launched on the 5th of September, has taken in a host of African developers, in a bid to conduct intensive blockchain training sessions, and facilitate the deployment of specially-tailored solutions for various sectors in the African continent.  Read also: Unlocking Africa’s digital future By Philippe Le Houérou The Bootcamp also features virtual weekend conferences on several blockchain use-cases. These conferences, which feature platform presentations by companies and panel sessions on several...

Android App Developers Must Now Give 30% Of All In-App Purchases To Google

Google in an announcement on Monday, 28th September, revealed that it plans to update its current policy on in-app purchase payment. According to Sameer Samat, Vice President, Product Management, all developers that monetise app download or charge for any services on their apps on Android devices will soon be mandated to use the Google Play’s payment system. Read also: Angolan Government Approves Grant of $11,000 To Each SME And Startup Through Local VC The Google Play’s system expects app developers to give up a 30% commission on every transaction generated through their app with an exemption for physical products. For this reason, products including games and those that require recurring payments,...

West Africa’s New Currency Could Now Be Delayed By Five Years

The arrival of West Africa’s new flagship common currency, the eco, could now be up to five years away after being derailed by the coronavirus pandemic, Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara announced. Leaders of the eight countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and the broader 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had hoped that the replacement for the French colonial CFA franc would be in place by the end of this year. The agreed criteria among WAEMU members for the currency’s launch was for national budget deficits to be contained at or below 3% of GDP (gross domestic product). Read also: Ethiopian Investor Group...

Sharif El-Badawi And Hasan Haider Leave 500 Startups To Launch Independent Fund For Startups In MENA

Sharif El-Badawi and Hasan Haider, the managing partners of 500 Startups’ Middle East & North Africa fund (500 Falcons) are leaving the firm to start their own fund, 500 revealed in a statement today that announced the appointments of Bedy Yang as the new managing partner for Falcons I and Rina Onur as an advisor. 500 Startups has been investing in the Middle East & North Africa since 2012 but it launched its dedicated fund for the region in 2017 with Sharif and Hasan leading it. The fund was closed with $33 million in 2019 and has invested in over 175 startups across different stages (including pre-seed). It...

Cairo-based La Reina raises six-figure investment, launches a fashion subscription service ‘The Box’ for women

Cairo-based online fashion rental platform La Reina has raised a six-figure (USD) ‘seed investment’ from 500 Startups, Algebra Ventures, and some other angel investors, it announced in a statement to MENAbytes today. The exact size of the round was not disclosed. La Reina had previously raised $1 million in a funding round led by Algebra Ventures in 2018. The startup has also announced the launch of its fashion subscription service ‘The Box’ for women. The service that apparently has been available for a few months at least, enables customers to receive a box every week with 2-3 new or used (but dry cleaned and sanitized) day-to-day clothing items for a fixed monthly...

Innovation Fellowship Programme Secures Funding

Impact Africa Network’s Innovation Fellowship programme has secured funding from three Silicon Valley tech leaders. The programme provides graduates the opportunity to enhance their business knowledge and gain practical experience. Mark Karake, CEO of Impact Africa Network comments on the funding donation received. “When we launched Impact Africa Network I did not doubt that impact-oriented tech leaders in Silicon Valley and beyond would not hesitate to support the work we are doing. They are uniquely positioned to understand how critical support is to the development of young innovators early in their careers. Most of them benefited from similar support when they were coming through the ranks.” Read also: Kenyan Digital...

Ethiopian Investor Group Launches Addis Ababa Angels Network

Angel investors in Ethiopia have created the Addis Ababa Angels Network, the first in Ethiopia in a move to provide adequate funding for early-stage innovative startups. The launch of the Addis Ababa Angels Network bring to an end the reliance on bank loans as Ethiopia does not have Venture Capital entities willing to invest in high-risk ventures. With the formation, the network members are motivated to drive the success of start-ups and, broadly, give back to society. They bring knowledge, skills, contacts and personal capital for Ethiopian Entrepreneurs. Read also: Economic Revival Lies In Buying Local [Opinion] “We are excited to announce that we have completed an investment in...

Unlocking Africa’s Digital Future By Philippe Le Houérou

Before Africa can reach the uplands of digitization — the robotics and the AI — it must first do the hard slog of reforming telecoms markets and opening up to competition, argues the outgoing head of the IFC. In a COVID19-treatment facility in Rwanda, Akazuba, Ikizere and Ngabo are moving through the hallways relaying doctor’s messages and delivering blood samples. The three health workers are not at risk of infection. They are robots. Meanwhile, Babyl, a chatbot, triages first medical problems and schedules physician appointments for 30 percent of the population. In Rwanda, digital technologies have become literal life savers. Such inspiring examples, which are found across many sectors and countries in...

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